Palestine: EU-funded project helps women create their own income-generating businesses

Palestine: EU-funded project helps women create their own income-generating businesses 620 330 Euro Mediter

The Agricultural Development Association (PARC) is opening two new income-generating projects for women’s Saving & Credit Groups (SCG) in Jerusalem. This initiative is part of a €3.5 million EU-funded project that seeks to strengthen the work of Palestinian civil society, address the Israeli governmental violations causing poverty and displacement, and improve living conditions for 30,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

PARC, together with European Union representatives, Oxfam, and a group of dignitaries celebrated the establishment and opening of a women’s club at Essayieh, and a Tailoring Workshop in the Old City of Jerusalem.

PARC restored a house in Essayieh to use as a Women’s Club, and in addition helped establish a beauty centre there for members of the Savings and Credit Women Group (SCG) in that community. They also provided the women’s group with logistical support, equipment and tools, as well as the necessary technical trainings.

Additionally, PARC helped the establishment and equipment of a tailoring workshop for women members of the SCG in the Old City, at the premises of the African Community Association, which was recently rehabilitated through the Welfare Association. The women’s group there was provided with sewing machines, and the necessary materials, as well as sewing courses so they can produce garments and other products as they choose.

A new saving and credit group (SCG) was also established in Sur Baher where a group of women was provided with logistical support and kitchen equipment to create a food production workshop where women can produce pastries, desserts and cakes. The group of women in Sur Baher received cookery classes and other training for the management of their micro project.

In Silwan, in efforts to protect a piece of land from confiscation by the Israeli government, and to make proper use of the land, PARC helped rehabilitate the plot for cultivation by a women’s saving and credit group in the community. The women received seeds and seedlings and started to grow medicinal herbs in hopes of marketing their produce and generating some income.

Using a rights-based approach, the three-year project “Protect the Rights and Improve the Resilience of Vulnerable communities in East Jerusalem” helps to improve people’s living conditions by:
– rehabilitating schools and creating better education opportunities for students;
– helping communities respond to threats and emergencies through first aid training;
– working to address environmental concerns and health hazards through the establishment of environmental clubs;
– helping to strengthen family ties through positive parenting workshops;
– offering legal aid and counselling to Palestinian women made vulnerable as a result of social and political issues such as gender-based violence, home demolitions and the risk of being separated from their children living in East Jerusalem due to their inability to obtain residency.

EU Representative Mr John Gatt-Rutter said: “Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are entitled to a life with equitable access to resources and the opportunity to engage in different social, economic and cultural activities in their city. The European Union has developed a dedicated programme of support for East Jerusalem with an annual investment of €8 million for the last three years. Today we mark the beginning of a series of income generating projects in the framework of our larger project with Oxfam which targets the most vulnerable communities in this city.”

Source: ENPI

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